Pentagon chief heads to Israel

12:48, Friday, 13 October, 2023
Pentagon chief heads to Israel

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will land in Israel tomorrow in a sign of Washington's support amid Israel's ongoing war in the Gaza Strip, the Pentagon confirmed Thursday.

Austin is scheduled to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and members of the newly formed war cabinet for "in depth" discussions about their "operational planning and their objectives" for the conflict, a senior US defense official told reporters at the Pentagon on Thursday.

The announcement of Austin's trip comes just a day after top US diplomat Antony Blinken pledged Washington's continual backing for Israel's defense. The Biden administration has been rushing military aid to Israel while rallying a blitz of diplomacy to dissuade Iran-backed groups in neighboring countries from joining in the conflict.

The United States has already begun transferring Iron Dome air defense interceptors and is reportedly sending air-to-ground offensive munitions as Israel continues to pummel targets in Gaza.

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